March 17, 2010

Being Irish O'Quebec

Everyone claims to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day. It's an excuse for a parade and a Guiness or two, or three. The Irish heritage in Montreal is such a part of the history of the city that the clover is on the official flag.

The red cross in the middle represents the "Christian motives and principles which governed the founders of the city" as it states on the city website. The other symbols represent the four main European ethnic groups that were settled in the city in the XIX century.  And for the rest of the flag:
  • The fleur-de-lis, of the Royal House of Bourbon, represents the French, the original settlers of the city. The orginal coat of arms had a beaver in place until 1936. Thank goodness. Enough with the beaver already.
  • The Lancastrian rose represents the English.
  • The shamrock represents the Irish.
  • The thistle represents the Scottish.
Pretty cool, eh?

However, most Montrealers would prefer this as the official flag.

The nutty people Separatists of Quebec probably think the fleur-di-lis should be larger and more prominent, as is the case with any sign in Quebec. French has to be first and always larger. Several weeks ago we wrote a blog entry (click here)about the special donuts being offered at Tim Hortons in celebration of the Olympics. When Paul stopped by "our" Tim's several weeks ago and asked for a special donut, the lady behind the counter proceeded to tell Paul about some guy who came in and requested that if they were going to make donuts with maple leaves on them they sure as heck better start making some with the blue fleur-di-lis. She wasn't joking! We deal with this stuff daily.

There's a great exhibit at a history museum in Montreal we plan to get to one of these days. The website is very interesting.  For a great explanation of the history go to the website here for the McCord Museum in Montreal.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correction: fleur-de-lis

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